Salix x sepulcralis
PLANTS: Tree to 20 m tall. STEMS: pendulous almost to the ground; branches highly brittle at base, yellow- to gray-brown, becoming glabrous; branchlets yellowish or yellow-brown, villous, especially at the nodes, becoming glabrous. LEAVES: petioles tomentose, 7-12 mm long, sometimes gland-dotted at base of blade; proximal leaves of vegetative branchlets or leaves on flowering branchlets entire or gland-dotted; young leaves glabrous or sparsely silky; mature blade ligulate, very narrowly elliptic or narrowly lanceolate, 70-140 mm long, 9-18 mm wide, 6.5-13 times as long as wide, the lower surface glaucous, short silky becoming glabrous, the upper surface dull, glabrous or short silky becoming glabrous, the base cuneate, the margins flat, serrulate to spinulose-serrulate, with 4-10 teeth per em, the apex acuminate. INFLORESCENCE: coetaneous, floral bracts tawny, 1.2-2 mm long, wavy hairy, the apices acute to rounded. STAMINATE FLOWERS: in densely flowered catkins 25-35 mm long; flowering branchlets to 3 mm long; filaments hairy; nectaries 1 abaxial, l-several adaxial, broad to ovate, 0.5-0.64 mm long. PISTILLATE FLOWERS: in densely flowered catkins 18-22 mm long; flowering branchlets 4-10 mm long; ovaries glabrous; stigmas 0.16-0.36 mm long; styles 0.15-0.2 mm long; stipes 0-0.3 mm long; nectaries broad, 0.5-0.7 mm long, longer than stipe. 2n = 76. NOTES: Gardens or disturbed areas mostly near settlements; Coconino, Maricopa, Navajo cos.; Mar-Apr; throughout warmer parts of N. Amer from CA to se U.S.; cultivated, sometimes naturalized; native of Asia. Hybridizes with S. alba. Figure 4. REFERENCES: Argus, George W. 1995. SalicaceaePart 2. Salix. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 29(1): 39
Characteristics: intermediate between the parents.
Similar species: In addition to the parents of this hybrid, also see these other weeping willow hybrids: S. x pendulina and S. x rubens.
Flowering: early spring
Habitat and ecology: May escape from cultivation and grow near streams, lakes, ponds, and other moist to wet areas.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: Salix x sepulcralis is a willow hybrid referred to as "weeping willow." Many cultivated forms of weeping willow are derived from species and hybrids that originated in Europe and Asia. The ancestry and taxonomy is complex. For a discussion see Santamour & McArdle (1988): Cultivars of Salix babylonica and other weeping willows. J. Arboriculture 14:180-184. Salix x sepulcralis is planted as an ornamental and shade tree in parks, cemeteries, lawns, and near streams, lakes, and ponds. However, it is undesirable as a lawn tree because it often sheds its twigs and branches.
Etymology: Salix is the Latin word for willow.
Author: The Morton Arboretum